(photo credit: Courtesy)
Just the spot...
Sir, - Further to "Seven Palestinians killed as IAF steps up strikes - another Hamas minister nabbed" (May 27): May I suggest that the Hamas detainees be interned in the Sderot area, perhaps in an open field where, thank God, the majority of their missiles land?
...for safety's sake
Sir, - A few days after WW2 broke out, thousands of British schoolchildren were evacuated from large cities to country villages. After a couple of months of phony war they were returned home.
When, in mid-1940, bombing attacks began in earnest, whole schools and families moved to safe areas and many stayed away for five years, until Germany's defeat was certain. No thought was given to letting them stay as targets to "impress" the enemy.
I propose that all residents of Sderot who don't have shelters be temporarily moved to safe areas ("This Russian roulette has to be stopped,'" May 27).
Anarchists, narcissists and great artists
Sir, - Re Elliot Jager's clear and interesting "Anarchy has its place" (May 24): As a 63-year-old Jewish man who has lived in France, I've had the "privilege" of knowing quite a few anarchists over the years. All share one trait - clinical narcissism. Like their fascist brethren, anarchists follow a voice deep within, unconcerned with the actual lives of men, women and children. They care less about people than about their own ideas.
No competent, visionary artist is a real anarchist. Andy Warhol was, at heart, a businessman. Sometimes "anarchists" become artists; every so often they combine extreme talent with extreme discipline and rise to greatness.
Nearly all great artists are anarchic in some way. But their discipline intervenes and they subject their impulses and ideas to the rigors of work and a schedule. This applied to Matisse and Picasso, and to Rembrandt, Da Vinci, even Dali. Each was a responsible artist, whatever the methods of his art or its vision.
I have no clue why anyone thinks Emma Goldman was "good" for the world. She and those like her gave us Adolf Hitler. He was her double.
God protect us from anarchists, who want to "do what they want, when they want to do it," the way small children do. I've often heard "art lovers" claim condescendingly that "artists resemble children," etc. Yet I know of not one great painter, musician or writer who either worked or lived like a child.
Political anarchists, like the lovely folks in the Bader-Meinhof gang, were and are children masquerading as adults. Effectively, they act out adult temper tantrums, which, unlike a child's outburst, can be deadly.
This also describes the Aksa Martyrs Brigades and PFLP "kids." Narcissists, all! Sad, that this is exactly what they were trained to be by their PLO and Hamas handlers. Doubly sad that a government would inhibit the emotional development of its people this way, for their own terrible purposes.
When its people are children, government becomes the "daddy." In this light, Gaza is perfect, if you're an anarchist. I've often thought how much the Gazan Palestinians resemble overgrown children. The Jews handed over valuable greenhouses and other useful economic tools to them as they left. And what did the Palestinians do with them? They did what angry children often do - lashed out and broke their "toys."
Change the emphasis
Sir, - I am one of the more temperate critics of Gershon Baskin. Re "Answering my critics" (May 22), I agree that it isn't possible to just ignore the Palestinians. But I vehemently disagree with his emphasis on what Israel must do to effect peace - it's always "we, we, we."
I suggest that Mr. Baskin concentrate on what the Palestinians need to do, since Israel has already taken concrete actions to promote peace, including an almost complete change of heart about a state for the Palestinians. It would be extremely foolish for Israel to take any other step jeopardizing our security until the PA makes some positive moves of its own - for example, changing its textbooks and curtailing media histrionics against Israel.
I also disagree with Mr. Baskin's assertion that Islamic fundamentalism is a result of "continuing despair." I believe that it stems from a deep-rooted urge toward global jihad by radical Muslim intellectuals, who, for the most part, brainwash other Muslims' children to do their dirty work.
Jerusalem, via Mecca
Sir, - "Saudis arrest Christian for entering Mecca" (May 25) brought a smile to my face. My late great-grandfather, who in 1839 was forced to convert to Islam in Mashad, Iran, "made pilgrimage" to Mecca in 1896, his only way to get to Jerusalem. Under his cloak and headgear he wore his miniature tefillin.
Sir, - Poland's ambassador to Israel should be commended for her courageous words about the poor behavior of Israeli groups in Poland ("Poles increasingly put off by visiting Israeli groups," May 25). One could sense her concern for good relations between our two nations, which Poland is very eager to maintain.
In traveling all over the world, about four times a year to Europe, I have learned that the opinion of Israeli behavior is extremely low, especially in hotels. When I booked four rooms for as many as five days for a team, the hotelier in one country later told me how hesitant he had been to oblige because of his previous experiences with guests from Israel.
Likewise, visiting Europeans are often shocked at what they see in Israeli hotels: Adults at the buffet self-service picking up food in their hands, licking their fingers and picking up more food; eating and drinking at the serving stands; loading plates to capacity and then wasting 80% of the food.
Good behavior is acquired at home, from parents who set good examples for their children. One may allow that in a country that has been at war for about 60 years, where the daily struggle for survival takes precedence, the department of good manners has become somewhat neglected. However, overseas every individual is representing his or her nation.
Perhaps we here need what was done in the US years ago: A note about good behavior abroad was placed into every US passport, whether needed or not.
Sir, - Charles Krauthammer's most recent column was a gem, a must-read for all. He reviewed the three-week period before the Six Day War, when all of tiny Israel's neighbors united in one goal: Israel's imminent destruction. We cringed at the words of the then PLO head: "As for the survivors - if there are any - the boats are ready to deport them."
Krauthammer's ending - "and the world did nothing" - bears repeating ("The value of paper guarantees of peace," May 24).
What the devil...
Sir, - My wife Carolyn and I are dual citizens of Israel and the US. On a recent visit to Los Angeles I was describing the threat of Islamofascism to the US and Israel, the US being seen as the Great Satan and Israel as the Little Satan.
Piped up Carolyn: "I guess that means we hold dual-Satanship."